Street Talk

Will LGBT-inclusive hate-crimes legislation reduce the violence?

Jack Connell
fishmonger | South Philadelphia
“Yes. Normally I feel the fewer laws, the better. But in this case I think it’s a good thing. But the law should be fully implemented. Hate crimes harm the entire queer community. I also think the court should allow community-impact statements at sentencing.”
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Will 'Milk' win an Oscar for Best Picture?

Jordan Miller
tattoo artist | Ambler
“I’ll say yes. The time is right for the Academy to go out on a limb and pick a gay film [for Best Picture]. Sean Penn is a very good actor. Giving ‘Milk’ the award would be a nice way to honor Heath Ledger because ‘Brokeback Mountain’ was passed over for Best Picture [three] years ago.”
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What do you hate most about Valentine's Day?

Dominique Schroom
store owner | Society Hill
“It’s too hyped and commercialized. We just went through that during Christmas. Why start it up all over again two months later? Fortunately, I’m in a relationship. But single people must really feel left out.”
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Should private schools be allowed to expel LGBT students?

Cassidi Ballou
counter technician | Brookhaven
“Yes. Let the school show its true colors. At least people will see what they’re all about — how completely wrong they are. Then, efforts can be made to have other students voluntarily withdraw. I wouldn’t shed a tear if [the school] shuts down.”
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What should the Pennsylvania legislature accomplish this year for the LGBT community?

Gino Barrica
insurance underwriter | Society Hill
“Legalizing same-sex marriage and passing a state GLBT antidiscrimination law. Those are two obvious things. I’m not saying there should be special rights, but members of the GLBT community should have the same rights as anyone else. Including marriage.”
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What was the top LGBT story of 2008?

Benjamin North
research assistant | Washington Square West
“The Rick Warren controversy. His selection to speak at the Obama Inaugural was disappointing. I don’t think Rev. Warren needs a national platform. He passes himself off as a mainstream pastor, and he’s not.”
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What’s your New Year’s resolution?

Kamilah Clarke
HIV-prevention counselor | West Philadelphia
“To buckle down more on my yoga practice. I do it to be centered. It really helps. Also, to pay more attention to my female friends. They live far away and tend to fall by the wayside. But good girlfriends are hard to come by.”
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